Persons with Disabilities have expressed fear of hunger and extreme poverty over the hike in price of PMS, stressing that it has brought unbearable high cost of living on the part of persons with disabilities (PMDs).
The chairman, National Association of Persons With Physical Disabilities (NAPWPD) FCT Chapter, Comrade Chris Agbo expressed these concerns in a press statement dated 4th June, 2023 on the Fuel Subsidy Removal and Fuel Price Hike.
Chris Agbo who is also the Executive Director of The Qualitative Magazine stated that Persons with disabilities are the worst hit by the Fuel Subsidy Removal and the resultant increase in fuel pump prices.
He said that PWDs especially wheelchair users and crutches users do not have access to cheaper means of transportation.
“Majority of these categories of PWDs are resorted to the use of expensive taxis ( Bolt and Uber) which prices have now tripled.
Chris, who is also the Secretary, Joint National Association of Persons With Disabilities (JONAPWD) FCT Chapter regretted that this development will restrict the daily movement of PWDs thereby affecting their economic activities.
“This will further deteriorate the poverty state of PWDs and it is fact that poverty dwells more among PWDs”.
“The increase in the poverty level of PWDs will increase their level of dependence on others for survival”.
He expressed concern that the gains made so far in curbing street begging among persons with disabilities and their socio-economic advancement will be gravely affected.
He pleaded to government to have a proper review of the price of fuel because of its adverse effect on PWDs because presently, there is no social security allowance for persons with disabilities.
He argued that government should have think of the negative effects of this decision on the poor and persons with disabilities in particular before taking it.
He also pleaded that if this price hike will be maintained, government should put in place social security mechanism to cushion the effect on PWDs.
He further appeal that the decision be looked into and reversal made for the interest of PWDs then, a proper plan that will include persons with disabilities be put in place and it will be functional for sometime before the removal of fuel subsidy.
The poor and PWDs are going through a lot at this time and if their plights are not properly taken care of, this policy will be anti people and the poverty rate will grow exponentially.